January 2013 News


The 200th Hillula (anniversary of passing) of Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, know as the Alter Rebbe, was marked by communities around the world last month. The Alter Rebbe is the founder of the Chabad movement, and the fruits of his teachings and activism can be seen today in the wide-ranging activities of his disciples around the world. His clarity and insistence on pragmatic results-oriented activities set the tone for how Chabad would develop over the years, and how it would contribute to the survival and renaissance of the Jewish people in the last 200 years. The JRCC celebrated the occasion with a special event at the JRCC@Rockford branch, where the wisdom and life story of the Alter Rebbe were discussed, and the unique songs he composed were sung. Exodus Magazine will also mark the occasion with a special column that will run each month for the course of this year featuring some of the Alter Rebbe’s most illuminating teachings.

The JRCC’s Winter Adventure Camp program took a group of boys ages 11 to 15 on a one-week camp adventure on beautiful lakefront grounds in Burks Falls, Ontario. Participants made fast friends and experienced a week packed with excitement – a hiking experience at Algonquin Park, skiing, paintball and ice skating.
The adventures were also interspersed with Jewish education and meaningful programming. The boys experienced an authentic Shabbat program, and learned how to put on tefillin. Rabbi Yoseph Y. Zaltzman, JRCC Senior Rabbi, spent some time at the camp, and shared suspense-filled stories of growing up under communist oppression in the Soviet Union.
For information about the JRCC Camp programs, including the upcoming Summer Camps for boys and girls, please contact Zalman Shuchat at 416.222.7105 x238 or visit www.jrccCamp.org.

As part of the annual international “One Shabbat, One World” event, the JRCC branches, along with 1,000 communities across the globe, hosted Friday night Community Dinners at eight locations on January 18. The events were part of the worldwide initiative to celebrate one Shabbat to unite the world, to bring the long awaited redemption for all mankind.
This event is the perfect marriage of our traditions and our future: In addition to a complete traditional Shabbat experience, complete with meals, classes and discussions, the theme of “One Shabbat, One World” focuses on the future – what Judaism’s view of the future Messianic era is like, what we can do to hasten it, and how we can bring these ideals into our personal lives.
The festivities also coincide with the anniversary of the passing of the Rebbe Yosef Yitzchak Schneerson, the predecessor of the Rebbe, the 10th of Shvat, as well as the day the Rebbe formally accepted the mantle of leadership one year later. More than any other Jewish leaders in history, they
In all, over 350 people attended the engaging events to enjoy hot food, a warm atmosphere and fascinating discussions about the Messianic era and its significance in Jewish life.
On Monday, January 21, a community-wide Farbrengen (gathering) at the JRCC@Rockford in honor of the 10th of Shvat drew over 100 people in a celebration of solidarity, unity and anticipation of a bright future for our people and the world.

Last month, four different Rosh Chodesh parties were held for women in various neighborhoods. The JRCC @ Rockford, East Thornhill, West Thornhill and S Richmond Hill held their monthly Rosh Chodesh gatherings, supplying participants with refreshments, refreshing ideas and good company.

The JRCC community celebrated the New Year for Trees with a series of programs and events exploring the meaning of nature and food, and their spiritual significance in our lives.
The JRCC @ Rockford held a tasting and learning session called “The Kabbala of Fruit,” in which participants enjoyed the sweet fruits of the Land of Israel, but also learned that there’s much more to fruit than just eating.
The JRCC West Thornhill hosted a unique women's evening that featured creative fruit carving and centered on a discussion of the Torah's comparisons between the human being and trees, an enlightening discussion on the nature of spiritual growth.